Royal Tank Corps

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Armoured Motor Units with British and Indian crews 1915-1917

Armoured Motor Batteries and Armoured Motor Brigades of the Machine Gun Corps, British Army

Armoured Car Companies and Light Tank Companies of the Royal Tanks Corps, British Army

In 1920, twelve Armoured Car Companies were set up as part of the Tank Corps, (later Royal Tank Corps), absorbing units from the Machine Gun Corps; eight were later converted into independent Light Tank Companies. All disbanded before the outbreak of the Second World War. [1]

By 1936 most armoured cars in service in India had been replaced by light tanks and the cars were distributed to volunteer forces in India and neighbouring countries.[2]

On 18 October 1923 the Tank Corps was officially given the title Royal making it the Royal Tank Corps (RTC). On 4 April 1939, the Royal Tank Corps was renamed the Royal Tank Regiment and became a wing of the newly-created Royal Armoured Corps.[3]

Crossly Armoured Car ‘Cachy’, North West Frontier near Peshawar early 1933 © H. Woods collection

Online records

Findmypast now has the database "Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records, 1919-1934" (released in December 2013). These records are available with Britain Full and World Subscriptions, or credits may be purchased. Searching is free, and you can search by keyword (a name is not compulsory) [4]

These records are for other ranks soldiers. No officers are included.
The records cover men who enlisted between 1919 and 1934. The enlistments are either: transfers from the Dragoons, Hussars, Lancers or Machine Gun Corps, direct enlistments and re-enlistments.
The records usually include a combination of the following information

  • Service history (Date of enlistment, details of previous service, including any First World War service, service number, campaigns fought in, medals awarded, date of discharge and reason for it) and
  • Biographical information (Name, age, date and place of birth, place of residence, occupation, name and address of next of kin, marriage details, names and dates of birth of any children)

The Tank Museum Archive & Reference Library holds the original enlistment and transfers-in ledgers (Army Book 358)

British Library holdings

  • Machine Guns, their History and Tactical Employment (being also a History of the Machine Gun Corps, 1916-1922) by Graham Seton Hutchison; published Macmillan, London in 1938.
  • War Cars: British Armoured Cars in the First World War by David Fletcher, published by HMSO in 1987. The book contains an Annex by Charles Messenger describing the various units of Motor Machine Gun Service, Lt Armoured Batteries et al.[5] The book also has a lot of good photographs of armoured cars all over India and Persia in locations like Kohat. "The backgrounds are very interesting because they show forts, uniforms etc. Fletcher also describes very well and briefly the campaigns in the area from 1914 to about 1925."[6]
  • Mechanised Force: British Tanks Between the Wars, by David Fletcher published by HMSO in 1991. It contains a good basic summary of the history of armoured cars,[7] and "quite a bit about the [1936-7] campaign".[8]

Armoured Motor Batteries and Armoured Motor Brigades MGC 1915-1921

In the operation from Shabkadar (North West Frontier) on 8 October 1915 "armoured cars were used for the first time in action in India and proved of great value".[9]

"Armoured Motor Units began to form in Spring of 1915 utilising vehicles donated by rich Indians and Europeans. This was overseen by Colonel Lord Montagu (Inspector of Motor Vehicles, India and later Brigadier General, Advisor on Mechanical Transport Services, India). Only No 1 AMU had reliable vehicles - three Rolls Royces which, like the other cars were armour-plated by Indian Railway Workshops, and this unit acted as a Brigade HQ for Nos 1, 2 & 3 AMUs. Most of the other vehicles were unsuitable and it was not until 1918 that improved cars were made available.

The Units were re-designated Armoured Motor Batteries in 1917 and during this period, British and Indian crews were gradually replaced by MGC personnel. The British crews had originally been provided by Territorials from garrisons in India. By 1919, Nos 2 & 3 Armoured Motor Brigades were formed from Nos 4 - 12 AMBs, whilst Nos 13 - 16 AMBs remained un-brigaded. At the commencement of the 3rd Afghan War, No 1 Armoured Motor Brigade was reorganised into five Regular and three Auxiliary AMBs which served in the Khyber and Chitral areas. HQ No 10 Armoured Motor Brigade, formed in the UK, commanded Nos 5, 6, 7 & 16 AMBs and operated in Waziristan and Mahsud".[10].

The following War Diaries are available at the National Archives, Kew

6th Armoured Motor Battery, MGC
The 6th Machine Gun Company, served in Waziristan 1919-1921 as No. 6 Armoured Motor Battery with the No. 3 Echelon of the Tochi Column in November 1919. This column under the command of Maj Gen A. Skeen, CMG, began the advance toward Datta Kehl on 12 Nov 1919. Later No. 6 Armoured Motor Battery served with No. 1 Section of the Tank Line of Communications Defences from Dera Ismail Khan, commanded by Brig Gen R B Worgan, DSO, which had an operational area from Darya Khan to Hathala and later to half way between Khirgi and Jandola.[11]

7th Armoured Motor Battery, MGC

  • July 1915 - formed in Dera Ismail Khan with Indian crews and served in India with Derajat Brigade. Took part in operation on the North West Frontier with 10 Armoured Motor Brigade during the Third Afghan War.[10]
  • 12 October 1920 - Death and burial at Dera Ismail Khan: Major Dean Farquhar age 31 [12]
  • 13 March 1921 and 20 April 1921- Deaths, and burials at Peshawar: Private W F Atkinson, and Private George Mansell age 19.[13]
  • October 1921[10] - transferred to 10th Armoured Car Company

16th Armoured Car Bty Machine Gun Corps (Motors)

External links

  • Machine Gun Corps Wikipedia. The Motor Branch of the Machine Gun Corps formed several types of units: motor cycle batteries, light armoured motor batteries (LAMB) and light car patrols.
Note in India, the units were known as Armoured Motor Batteries (AMB)

Royal Tank Corps

Service in India

The Bill Green collection of medals, in 2004 contained the following medals awarded to members of the Tank Corps. Generally details of the Company were not given. Being from one collection only, the list may not be exhaustive [15]

  • India General Service 1908-35 with clasps
    • Malabar 1921-22 this was awarded for the Moplah Uprising and the 8th Armoured Car Company was involved
    • Waziristan 1921-24
    • North West Frontier 1930-31
    • Mohmand 1933
    • North West Frontier 1935
  • India General Service 1936-39 with clasps
    • North West Frontier 1936-37
    • North West Frontier 1937-39

Medal Rolls

India General Service Medal Rolls for the Royal Tank Corps may be found at the National Archives, catalogue references WO 100/479 1920-1935 and also WO 100/485, 487, 492, 496, 497, 499, 500. All these medal rolls may be downloaded for free. This data is also available on the pay website Ancestry.

Royal Tank Corps School, Ahmednagar

1st Armoured Car Company

  • The 1st Armoured Car Co. equipped with Rolls Royce cars was sent to Iraq in March 1920 to help put down a rebellion [18]
  • A Great War Forum post [19] indicates that 6 LAMB became part of the 1st Armoured Car Co. of the Tank Corps at the end of 1920. 6 LAMB had a Rolls-Royce armoured car called Cleopatra in 1920. Others were called Harvester, Avenger and Chatham. This comes from the unit war diary of the time, which is found under WO 95/5206 at Kew. 6 LAMB were under 17th Indian Division at the time and was based at Ramadi, Iraq.
A LAMB soldier in Mesopotamia wore a sun helmet with a flash/badge showing a lamb.[20]
  • A War Office communiqué concerning the movement of troops, reported in The Straits Times of 14 August 1922, “1st and 2nd Armoured Car Companies, Iraq to India” [21]
  • Listen to the 1985 interview with Sidney Albert Amatt Reels 13-14 Recollections of period with No 1 and No 2 Armoured Car Coys, TC in Iraq, 1922-1923. Imperial War Museum. Sidney Amatt advised the duties in Iraq were taken over by the RAF in 1923 and the men sent to Armoured Car Companies in India, or back to England. Although not specified, in the context of the interview it appears likely that the Cars were transferred to the RAF.
  • The 1st Armoured Car Co. was re-formed in England [22] and had arrived in India by 1925. [23] It is not mentioned in the October 1923 Indian Army List.[24]
  • 1927 burial record[25]: Quetta. Lieutenant Geoffrey Ellis Goodbody, 1st Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps, died 8 Jan 1927 aged 23 years. Cause: Drowning
  • Private Harold Bryant’s gravestone at Peshawar reads: "Private Harold Bryant. 1st Armoured Car Company. Royal Tank Corps. Killed 23rd April 1930. Aged 25 years. Erected by the officers, NCOs and men of the 1st Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps."[26] He was a despatch rider who was knocked from his machine during a riot situation in Peshawar, had a petrol soaked carpet thrown over him and was burnt alive.[27]
    • Photographs from the National Army Museum:
    • Information may be found in "Peshawar District 1930", Chapter 10, page 253 Imperial Policing by Major-General Sir Charles W Gwynn 1939 Archive.org, Digital Library of India Collection. The Armoured Cars involved were Bray, Bullicourt, Bethune and Bapaume.
  • A member of the 1st Armoured Car Company gained the India General Service Medal with clasp North West Frontier 1930-31 Pte P J Goodard R Tank C charliesmedals.co.uk
  • 1931 burial record [25]: Peshawar. Sgt Francis Leonard Flake, 1st Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps. Died 19 Jan. 1931 age 30, cause Pneumonia Lobar. (No. 7873656, probably age 31[28])
  • 1932 burial record[25]: Lucknow Cantonment Cemetery Daniel Hussey Private 1 ACC RTC No. 788/1570 died 11 November 1932, age 22, cause Gunshot wound in left buttock.
  • C 1933, the 1st Armoured Car Co. was at Cawnpore and Calcutta. [29].
  • The 1st Light Tank Co took part in operations in Waziristan during 1937.[30]
  • Although redesignated "Light Tank Company", the 1st remained equipped with armoured cars. [22]
  • "Brought to notice for distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Waziristan, North West Frontier of India, 25th November, 1936, to 16th January, 1937":— le Maistre, Capt. R. G., 1st Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Corps. [31]
  • The 1st Light Tank Company took part in operations in Waziristan in 1938.[32]
  • Grave at Rawalpindi - "No. 7887086 L.E.W. Scammell. 1st Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Regiment. Died Rawalpindi 19 May 1939. Aged 23 yrs."[33]
  • Disbanded at Peshawar c September 1939, handing over armoured cars to Indian cavalry[22]

2nd Armoured Car Company

  • The 2nd Armoured Car Co. equipped with Rolls Royce cars was sent to Iraq in March 1920 to help put down a rebellion[18]
  • A War Office communiqué concerning the movement of troops, reported in The Straits Times of 14 August 1922, “1st and 2nd Armoured Car Companies, Iraq to India”.[21].
  • Listen to the 1985 interview with Sidney Albert Amatt Reels 13-14 Recollections of period with No 1 and No 2 Armoured Car Coys, TC in Iraq, 1922-1923. Imperial War Museum. Sidney Amatt advised the duties in Iraq were taken over by the RAF in 1923 and the men sent to Armoured Car Companies in India, or back to England. Although not specified, in the context of the interview it appears likely that the Cars were transferred to the RAF.
  • The 2nd Armoured Car Co. was re-formed in England [22] and had arrived in India by 1925. [23] It is not mentioned in the October 1923 Indian Army List.[24]
  • C 1933, the 2nd Light Tank Co. was at Peshawar.[29]
  • Photograph 7th May 1934: An officer of the 2nd Light Tank Company on patrol near the Khyber Pass in Afridi tribal territory. In the background is the Safed Koh range of mountains with the entrance to the pass itself. Getty Images
  • No.7882203 Private William Chatterton, and No.7879367 Lance-Serjeant Harold Ernest Whittington, both of the 2nd Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Corps were awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field during the Mohmand Operations, North West Frontier of India, 15th/16th August to 15th/16th October,1935 [34]
  • Page 6 of this link has a photograph captioned: Light Tank Mk IIB Indian Pattern of the 2nd Light Tank Company RTC, crossing the Nahakki Pass by mule track, Mohmand Operations, North West Frontier, September 1935 [35]
  • Grave at Quetta - "In memory of No. 7883491 Private W.B. Ingram. 2nd Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Corps, who died Quetta 20 Jan. 1937. Aged 22 yrs. Erected by his sorrowing father and comrades."[36]
  • Disbanded 1939, handing over tanks to Indian cavalry[22]
  • 2nd Armoured Car Company Royal Tank Corps Badge cultmancollectables.com

6th Armoured Car Company

  • 1921 - Formed in Baghdad from spare personnel of 1st & 2nd Armd Car Coys (ex-4th Bn Tank Corps). They took over the Austin armoured cars and personnel of 7th Light Armoured Motor Battery, Machine Gun Corps until they got new Rolls-Royces. At the end of 1921 the 6th went to India to join the 7th-11th Coys. [37]
  • 1923, October. Headquarters were at Bareilly.[24]
  • 1930, May. Burial record[25]: Bangalore Holy Trinity, Cossoor Road Cemetery, Burton Davis, 24 years, L/C 7877973 6th ACC, RTC died 30 May 1930, cause Gun shot wound. Soldier Guilty Of Murder nlb.gov.sg. The Straits Times, 21 August 1930, Page 12
  • Circa 1933 stationed at Peshawar (for Razmak).[29] Two sections of the 6th Armoured Car Company (Royal Tank Corps) took part in the Mohmand operations, one of very few British units present.
  • 1935, August. Burial record [25]: Dalhousie L/Cpl Ambrose Ball, age 22, 7882463 6th Armoured Car Coy, Royal Tank Corps died 27 August 1935 due to Typhoid fever.
  • 1936, March. Burial record[25]: Delhi Cantt. FBA Snell age 22, Private 6th ACC, RTC died 7th March 1936 due to Concussion.
  • 1937 - 6th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan during 1937.[30] Although redesignated "Light Tank Company", the 6th remained equipped with armoured cars.[22] However it appears the Company also had tanks.
  • 1937 - "Brought to notice for distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Waziristan, North West Frontier of India, 25th November, 1936, to 16th January, 1937":—Heyland, Maj. H. M., D.S.O., 6th Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Corps. [31] Awards to members of the 6th Light Tank Company for gallant and distinguished service in action in connection with the operations on the North-West Frontier of India, 1937: —
    • The Military Cross. Lieutenant Harry Osborn Stibbard.
    • The Military Medal for bravery in the Field. No. 7883052 Private Phillip Henry Carroll[38]
  • 1939 - Disbanded at Delhi, handing over armoured cars/[tanks] to Indian cavalry[22]

7th Armoured Car Company

  • A Great War Forum post[39] indicates the Rolls-Royce Armoured Car "Silver Snipe" served during the 1920s in India as part of the 7th Armoured Car Co. A further Great War Forum post[40] refers to photographs in respect of the 7th Armoured Car Co. which "include Rolls Royce armoured cars with spoked wheels, these are named as Silver Knight, Silver Dart and Silver Cloud. There is also a Rolls Royce 40/50 tender which looks like a de-armoured car, a Rolls Royce Admiralty pattern motorcycle, an Albion A10 3 tonner, a Bristol F2B Fighter Plane, a Ford 7 Tourer and some Crossley 1923 India Pattern Armoured Cars, one of which is named "Arion" and written on the back is "One which escorted the Viceroy to the Frontier and back""
  • The 7th Armoured Car Co Tank Corps arrived in India in February 1921 with Rolls Royce Cars. They went to Peshawar and then to the Frontier. They formed protection picquets. In 1922 a section was sent to Malakand to assist the Chitral Relief Column and in May 1924 to Kohat for the Ellis murders. Pte P Donegan R Tank Corps was awarded the Indian General Service Medal with clasp Wazaristan 1921-24 charliesmedals.co.uk
  • 1923, October. Headquarters were at Peshawar.[24]
  • Listen to the 1976 interview with George Warren Richards Reel 3... Period as officer with 7th Armoured Car Coy, Tanks Corps in India, 1921-1924: posting to Peshawar; mechanical problems encountered; patrol duties. Imperial War Museum.
  • Listen to the 1985 interview with Sidney Albert Amatt Reel 12 ...Period with 7th Armoured Car Coy, TC based at Peshawar cantonment, ca 1923-1925: Reels 14-20 ...Recollections of period with 7th Armoured Car Coy, TC based at Peshawar cantonment, ca 1923-1925: Waziristan, periods at Peshawar and Lahore, 1923-1928. Discharged 1928 Imperial War Museum.
  • Photograph: 7th Armoured Car Co. in Peshawar, late 1920s/early 1930s[18]
  • Owen Payne Whawell died on 2 November 1931, aged 21, of gunshot wounds to the stomach, at the Combined Indian Military Hospital, Wana, Waziristan, North-West Frontier Province. He was awarded a 'casualty' I G S 1908-35 medal with clasp, North West Frontier 1930-31. Private Whawell was driver of a lorry of the 7th Armoured Car Company, charged with carrying Lieutenant T. M. Synge, who was returning from a few days leave. On this journey they stopped to take a photograph and were both shot by a disaffected Giga Khel Mahsud, acting as a Khassadar (local tribal policeman), who seized his rifle and shot both men from behind at about ten yards range. Both men succumbed to their wounds shortly afterwards.[41] According to their burial records[25], both died on 2 November 1931. Private Whawell, 7879841, age 19, was buried at Razmak 3 November, while Lieut Synge, 1st Armoured Car Coy, age 23, was buried 4th November at Peshawar.
  • Listen to the 1976 interview with William Brian Blain Reel 3 Recollections of operations as officer with 7th Armoured Car Coy in India, 1932-1935: posting to unit at Razmak; nature of escort duties; introduction of Light Tank Mark IIB at Quetta. Reel 4 Continues: opinion of Light Tank Mark IIB; duties as adjutant; mechanical problems with Wilson gear box; attending tactical gunnery course at Royal Tank Corps School, Ahmadnagar. Imperial War Museum.
  • C 1933, the 7th Light Tank Co. was at Quetta.[29]
  • In 1935 the 7th Light Tank Co. in Quetta was called out to patrol the streets after an earthquake to prevent looting. They also used their vehicles to pull down the damaged buildings.[42]
  • The 7th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan during 1937[30]
  • The 7th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan in 1938.[32]
  • Catalogue reference "...photographs... taken by John Mann, 1937-1938; during service on Crossley armoured cars and Vickers Light tanks on the North West Frontier with 7 Light Tank Company, Royal Armoured Corps".[43]
  • 1938 Burial record[25]: George Cruickshank Anderson, 7877096, Sergt 7th L T C (R T C) died 13th July 1938 at Bannu, NWFP, of heatstroke, and was buried by the Doctor in Charge, CMS Hospital, Bannu.
  • Disbanded at Peshawar c September 1939, handing over tanks to Indian cavalry[22]

8th Armoured Car Company

  • Captain George Archibald Rosser served in Malabar, in command of No 8 Armoured Car Co., later transferring to No 9 Armoured Car Unit, then serving in the Waziristan Campaign[44]
  • Page 108 The Mapilla Rebellion 1921-1922 Printed by the Superintendent Government Press Madras 1922 Archive.org, mentions the 8th Armoured Car Co. in the Moplah Uprising or Malabar Rebellion.
  • 1923, October. Headquarters were at Lahore.[24]
  • The 8th Armoured Car Co. was in Kirkee in 1926, with commanding officer Lieut Colonel Charles Arthur Bolton[45]
  • This link refers to photographs taken by Private H J Dibble No 2 section 8th Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps taken in India from October 1925 to January 1930.
  • Listen to the 1976 Interview with Nigel William Duncan Reel 7 Aspects of period as officer with 8th Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps in India, 1931-1932: posting to unit in Dehli, 1931; crowd control duties including electrification of armoured cars; crowd control duties at Chandi Chowk; question of suitability of armoured cars for policing role; health problems in India; character of Crossley Armoured Car. Imperial War Museum.
Note: No. 2 Section 8th Armoured Car Company may have operated independently, as it appears it was on the North West Frontier in 1931, not in Delhi.
  • Photographs North-West Frontier Province, 1930s and some additional photographs. The photographer was possibly a member of the 8th Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps, but other Companies and Regiments are also mentioned. From "Andrew M Brownhill" (archive.org links 1 and 2)
  • C 1933 , the 8th Armoured Car Co. was at Delhi (for Peshawar). [29]
  • 1934 burial record [25]: Peshawar. Private James Rutledge. 8th AC Company, Royal Tank Corps, age 22 died 4 June 1934 due to Enteric. (Possible no. 7883069)
  • Landships WW1 Forum thread about a grandfather who served in the 8th Armoured Car Company in the 1930s with a photograph of Armoured Car 'Agincourt', a Crossley (in original and restored versions). [46]
  • The 8th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan during 1937[30]
  • Awards to soldiers of the 8th Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Corps for "gallant and distinguished service in action in connection with the operations on the North West Frontier of India, 1937"
    • The Distinguished Conduct Medal. No. 1069998 Lance-Corporal Albert Williams.
    • The Military Medal. No. 7879515 Corporal Thomas Morton.[47] Corporal Morton commanded Armoured Car "Crecy".
    Both these awards (details available) resulted from the Shahur Tangi Ambush in April 1937.[48]
Newspaper item Cairns Post Friday 8 October 1937 trove.nla.gov.au
  • The Company does not appear on a listing for 1937 indicating it had been disbanded and/or absorbed after its action in Waziristan [23] However another reference advises disbanded March 1938, handing over tanks to Indian cavalry[22]

9th Armoured Car Company

  • The 9th Armoured Car Company arrived in India in April 1921, with the 10th ACC.
  • This link (scroll down) describes the Rolls Royce Indian Pattern armoured cars, dating from 1922, issued to the 9th Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps [2]
  • Landships WW1 Forum thread [46] which states that the Tank Museum advised that Rolls-Royces only ever served with 9th Armoured Car Company, they could only afford enough of them for one company.
  • 1923, October. Headquarters were at Manzai.[24]
  • In late 1931 "The 9th Armoured Car Company, commanded by Major Simpson, recently left Kirkee and proceeded to Belgaum, where it linked up with the 6th Armoured Car Company and engaged in technical training for a week...” (more details)[49]
  • C 1933, the 9th Armoured Car Co. was at Razmak (for Delhi).[29]
  • The 9th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan during 1937[30]
  • Information concerning the medals of Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant E. L. Parkin contains an image of a certificate for “Devotion to duty” awarded to L/Corpl E L Parkin 9th Light Tank Company during Waziristan Operations 1936-37 (Final Phase). [50]
  • Disbanded at Lahore c September 1939 handing over tanks to Indian cavalry[22]

10th Armoured Car Company

  • WA Moore was appointed to raise the 10th Armoured Car Company on 22nd January 1921 in Wareham and took the Company to India as their Commanding Officer. The 10th ACC arrived in India with the 9th ACC in April 1921. They proceeded to Bareilly for training with Ford Box bodies. At the end of 1921 they went up to NW Frontier and there absorbed the 5th, 7th & 16th Armoured Motor Batteries of the Machine Gun Corps now all called the 10th Armoured Motor Brigade. They were armed with Jeffrey Quads. They were awarded the Indian General Service Medal with clasp Waziristan 1919-21
The Company were operating on both the Takki Zam Line and in the Tochi Valley, and were daily in active patrols with the picqueting infantry. Two noteworthy events happened.
1) March 1922 at Idak a pigeon carried by the cars reported an ambush, flying five miles in five minutes.
Later in year the Company was in action against a raiding party at Hinnis Tangai Ridge.
In July 1923 six cars moved 140 miles in 17 1/12 hours taking part in the surrounding of the Hisa Mahal Nabha State. The Maharaja received an ultimatum and soon afterwards was dethroned. Colonel K Wigram congratulated the cars on their performance. [51]
  • 1923, October. Headquarters were at Delhi.[24]
  • 5563458 Private J Warner passed an examination held in April 1924 at the Fort, Delhi and was awarded the Army Certificate of Education Second Class, signed by EA Lovesher (?) Walker, Major Commanding 10th (A. C.) Company, Royal Tank Corps and confirmed at the Fort Delhi 20 May 1924. The same website[52] shows four photographs, labelled Jack Warner, North West Frontier, 1920s/late 1920s, Crossley Armoured Car. One is labelled Practice Range. These photographs are also available on flickr.com labelled Armoured Car 1 North West Frontier - c 1925, Armoured Car 2, Armoured Car 3, Armoured Car 4 PeteBoro’s photostream . Elsewhere[53], in respect of the same photographs it is stated "These photos are in my possession and are from my Uncle Fred Wilkinson who served on the NWF. Photos show his company Crossley ACs (LION and TIGER were names of two of them). Near Peshawar".
  • Grave at Quetta - "In memory of No. 7878958 Private P.C. Griffiths. 10th Armoured Car Company. Royal Tank Corps who died at Quetta 15 June 1930." [54] His burial record [25] indicated he died due to due to Compound Fracture Femur (R) Amputated.
  • Listen to the 1976 Interview with Henry Maughan 'Bill' Liardet Reel 2: Recollections of period as officer with 10th Armoured Car Coy, Royal Tank Corps in India, 1930-1935: posting to unit, 1930; character of Guy Armoured Car; comparison between home and Indian service; operating with cavalry; opinion of Crossley Armoured Cars; posting to Razmak; duties protecting road builders; gunnery and maintenance courses at Ahmednagar; problems with supply of spares; character of Ahmednagar course. Reel 3 Continues: armoured car tactical training; Percy Hobart's visit to Razmak. Imperial War Museum.
  • C 1933, the 10th Armoured Car Co. was at Kirkee.[29]
  • Obituary of Captain Frank Naughton, GC who as a private in the 10th Light Tank Company, based at Kirkee, saved a colleague from drowning August 5 1936 and was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal. The Telegraph 22 Jun 2004 There is a photo of him in this link. However, one soldier, Robert Alexander Steel Campbell, Soldier 10th Light Tank Coy, Royal Tank Corps died 5th August 1936 aged 20 years 8 months and was buried 14th August 1936 at Kirkee. Cause of death: Accident-Drowning.[25]
  • The Company does not appear on a listing for 1937 indicating it had been disbanded and/or absorbed. [23]. However another reference advises disbanded March 1938, handing over tanks to Indian cavalry[22]

11th Armoured Car Company

  • 1923, October. Headquarters were at Kirkee.[24]
  • 1985 interview with Sidney Albert Amatt Reel 10 ...posting to newly formed No 11 Armoured Car Coy; Reel 11... Recollections of initial acclimatisation period at Deolali Camp, ca 1/1922-2/1922: Reel 12 ...Period with 7th Armoured Car Coy, TC based at Peshawar cantonment, ca 1923-1925. Recollections of period at Cantspur, Rawalpindi, 1923. Imperial War Museum
  • C 1933, the 11th Armoured Car Co. was at Lahore.[29]
  • The 11th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan during 1937[30]
  • Although redesignated "Light Tank Company", the 11th remained equipped with armoured cars [22]
  • "Brought to notice for distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Waziristan, North West Frontier of India, 25th November, 1936, to 16th January, 1937":—Pike, No. 7870476, C/Sjt. (C.Q.M.S.) A., 11 th Light Tank Company, Royal Tank Corps. [31] He is mentioned in this dnw.co.uk link. "Colour-Sergeant Pike served as C.Q.M.S. with the 11th Armoured Car (later Light Tank) Company between 1936 and 1938. The unit was stationed at Peshawar and took part in the operations along the North West Frontier against tribesmen led by the Fakir of Ipi. Pike later transferred to the 4th Royal Tank Regiment"
  • The 11th Light Tank Co. took part in operations in Waziristan in 1938.[32]
    • The Military Medal was awarded for distinguished services rendered in the field in connection with the operations in Waziristan, during the period 16th December, 1937, to 31st December, 1938 to No. 7877605 Sergeant William Vincent, Royal Tank Regiment. [55] He is also mentioned in this link dnw.co.uk
  • The 11th Light Tank Co. was part of the Razmak Brigade in Waziristan in 1939[56]
  • A photograph now in the Tank Museum shows men of the 11th Light Tank Company at Razmak, in the snow, next to a sign stating 7156 Feet, with an Indian Pattern Light Tank Mark II used by the 11th between 1936 and 1939. This photograph belonged to 7886291 Albert J.E. Morgan.[57]
  • Disbanded at Mir Ali c September 1939, handing over tanks to Indian cavalry[22]

Regimental journal

The Tank Corps Journal, first published 1919-1920. The title changed in 1923 to The Royal Tank Corps Journal. There were twelve monthly journals each year, for a total of about 350 pages. "Every conceivable aspect of the corp to date is covered, every unit is covered in each volume including the armoured car battalions".[58]

The Tank Museum Bovington (refer External links below) have advised they have a complete set of journals, (which are scanned, but unfortunately not available on their website) .[59] The British Library appears to have holdings 1919- vol. 5, no. 55 (Nov. 1923), (probably when the title changed) but it would be worthwhile enquiring if they have copies past this date. The National Army Museum, London, catalogue lists volumes from No 1 1919–1920 to No 15 1933-1934 (missing No 11-12) . Imperial War Museums[60] list this journal in the catalogue, but there is no information about the volumes in the collection. Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, Kings College London[61] holds " No.77-209, 1925-1936 Lacks :No.79(1925); 100(1927); 107(1928); 109(1928)", together with Jan.1937-July 1939. Australian War Memorial Research Centre,[62] Canberra ACT Australia have volume 8, no. 85 (May 1926)-v.18,209 (Sept. 1936) and Nos. 1-3, Jan. 1937-Jan. 1938.

Several articles on the campaigns in Waziristan 1921-24 were published in the Tank Corps Journal in the early 1920s.[63]

An article "Tanks in India" by General Sir John Crocker appeared in the Royal Tank Corps Journal of July 1925.[64]

Regimental flashes and cloth badges

The Formation Sign No. 267 July-Sept 2017, Journal of the Military Heraldry Society was a special edition in respect of the Tank Corps/ TRC/ RTR/ RAC.[65]

Jeffrey Armoured Cars

Rolls-Royce Armoured Cars

Crossley Armoured Cars

After the First World War, the British Army in India had a requirement for Armoured Cars for areas such as the North West frontier. A delegation was despatched to Britain to see what was on offer and particularly to look at the offerings from Rolls-Royce as their wartime models had performed well. As well as being expensive they surprisingly were unable to get over the gradient test on the cross country trial. There was also at the trials a 1 1/2 ton Crossley based on the chassis that had been intended for a Russian contract that came to nothing because of the Revolution. This was the chassis that was under consideration as a medium truck for India and eventually became the IGL1. It sailed through the trials. An order for 32 followed with bodies by Vickers and these were designated IGA1 by Crossley. These were delivered in 1923 and a further order followed. Total deliveries were about 450. All of these vehicles were fitted with solid tyres presumably to remove the risk of punctures but these were never very successful when used off road as their narrow profile inevitably led to the vehicle sinking up to its axles.[68]

Crossley armoured cars did not prove popular with their crews who found them underpowered and underbraked due to the weight of the armoured body. Brakes were fitted to the rear wheels only which made handling these cars on the mountainous roads of the North-West Frontier of India a tricky business.[69]

In 1933 Crossley armoured cars had solid tyres to avoid punctures. This had made them very rough to ride in, and caused them to be very prone to turning over. These cars operated in Peshawar at this time in a campaign against the Red Shirts. Several of the cars were trapped in the streets by rioters, and at least one was burned out. A system was installed inside the cars that electrified the hulls so that rioters couldn't climb on top of the cars. There were a few 6 wheeled armoured cars with the same Crossley turret… Very few photos of these cars survive.

Although it is not certain in all cases, at this time following a precedent started in World War I, the names on tanks tend to denote the battalion, so any car name starting with C is likely to have been on a car in the 3rd Battalion, or third company of the Royal Tank Corps.

There were ... about 100 of these armoured cars. They rotated to the NWFP for about 6 months each in turn.[7].

Light Tanks

External links

Photographs and video

Historical books online

References

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